Congressman John Katko, on Friday (1/14), announced he would not be seeking a fifth term for New York’s 24th Congressional District. The District covers all of Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne and the western part of Oswego County.
The congressman was one of just 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump. He faced backlash for the decision and at least one primary challenger in his for the upcoming, redistricted 2022 election.
A set of maps proposed by Democrats in the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission place Katko and GOP colleague Rep. Claudia Tenney in the same district.
Katko, age 59, a four term congressman, attributed his decision to personal priority shifts, and said his parents and those of his wife, Robin, all died within the past three years.
Katko also received harsh criticism from not only the State Republican Party, but both the Wayne County Republican and Conservative Parties for not supporting Trump. He is the third of 10 Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment to decide against re-election. Upon hearing the news, former President Donald Trump reportedly cheered.
Congressman Katko released the following statement regarding his future:
“For the past 32 years, I’ve devoted my life to protecting and serving our community and our country. First as a federal prosecutor, and now as a Member of Congress, it has been my mission to unite people in order to solve serious problems.
“We have had great success in this mission: passing a long-needed and bipartisan infrastructure package, addressing drug addiction and mental health, lowering taxes on the middle class, leading efforts to secure our homeland and keep this country safe – and far too many others to mention. This experience has been rewarding in ways I never thought possible.
“During this same time, I have been blessed beyond belief with family, health, and the most loving and patient wife on earth. Over the course of the past three years, my wife Robin and I buried all four of our parents. To say that those gut-wrenching times provided life-changing perspective for me is putting it mildly.
“That’s why, after 32 years of public service, I have decided not to seek re-election to Congress, so that I can enjoy my family and life in a fuller and more present way.
“My conscience, principles, and commitment to do what’s right have guided every decision I’ve made as a Member of Congress, and they guide my decision today. It is how I’ve been able to unite people to solve problems, and how I was rewarded with resounding victories in every single campaign for Congress. Representing Central New York in Congress -- solving real problems, and relentlessly championing bipartisanship -- has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime. It is with profound gratitude for my colleagues, staff, supporters, team, and the people of New York’s 24th Congressional District that I am thrilled to begin this next and best chapter of my life alongside Robin and our family.”